Qtel’s new fibre network being rolled out across the country will significantly improve television and other services for customers in Qatar, according to a visiting official from Fox International Channels, who said that his company is aiming to offer all of its channels in high definition (HD) in the near future.
General manager and senior vice-president of Fox International in the Middle East, Rohit d’Silva explained that eight of the company’s 13 channels in the region are already available in HD, with 10 of their channels currently available to Qatari customers through a number of different subscription bouquets.
These channels include Fox Movies, Fox Sports, Star World, National Geographic Abu Dhabi and various others.
D’Silva said that Fox channels have been building in strength over recent years, but explained that judging the popularity of specific channels in certain countries is difficult because there are no devices in place to measure viewership in most markets in the region.
However, UAE introduced a people meter last year and Fox Movies proved to be the second largest Hollywood movie channel, and number 12 on the overall list of most viewed channels.
Fox entertainment channel also fared well, coming in at number 23 on the list, serving as an indication of the popularity of the channels in the region.
D’Silva explained that he hopes to see expansion in the region, and was in Qatar to look at opportunities for partnerships to be formed.
The channel has already worked closely with Qatar Airways as an advertising partner in Europe and Asia, and d’Silva said that he is exploring the possibility of other ventures with locally based companies to expand Fox’s business in Qatar.
While Fox International try and develop relationships in which they feel they can play on the strengths of their extensive global experience, d’Silva said that this does not yet apply to the development of content in the region.
He explained that there is not a great deal of involvement with locally filmed content at the moment, but said that this is something that could change in the future, with a company such as Fox able to offer assistance to less experienced content-providers.
“Qatar is an important market and we are looking to form partnerships to be able to offer added value to customers here,” said d’Silva, noting “we plan to expand our services in the future in what is a very important region.” “With the infrastructure developments which are taking place here in Qatar, there are sure to be many more opportunities,” he added.